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RICHMOND, Virginia – After almost a year since the 2019 USAT season concluded, USA Archery is thrilled to be back, welcoming almost 300 archers to Richmond, Virginia for the 136th USA Archery Target Nationals and U.S. Open. It feels a little different this year; the event is smaller, archers are spaced further apart, coaches and parents are not filling the line, but at its core, it’s still the same. For the 136th consecutive year, archers from around the country have gathered to shoot their best, compete for top honors and celebrate with friends in this special community.
Following Virginia’s Phase 3 guidelines, archers are distanced at one archer per target per line. Coaches are further off the field of play and spectators are limited. There are health safety screenings to enter the venue including a temperature check and archers are offered hand sanitizer and masks. USA Archery has enhanced sanitization protocols and masks are encouraged for all event attendees and participants when not shooting.
World No. 1 Braden Gellenthien and 718/720 50m world record holder says the event conditions will make records possible this weekend: “I’m hoping for it, my training has been going really well and I feel like I’m shooting at the level that makes it possible so as long as the conditions stay well and I’m able to keep control of my mind, I’ll be able to give it a run. This break has been great; I was able to refocus my mind, come in fresh and I think it will help me out going forward.”
World Champion James Lutz agreed: “The break from events really lit a fire in me. I’m really happy to be back and I’m glad we’re here for the event. I think USA Archery is doing everything they can to allow us to have this event in these weird times and it’s worth a few inconveniences.”
The pandemic hasn’t been as friendly to everyone, but the consensus on the field from all participating is that the archers are thrilled to be back and to have a chance to shoot their bows. Reigning barebow national champion Claire Xie shared: “To be honest, I haven’t gotten a lot of practice because of my job and the pandemic, but I just want to have some fun and enjoy some time away from work.”
Many young archers have also shown up, shooting against the adults just for a chance to be competing again. Virginia’s local rising youth talents include Eunice Choi, Andrew Yoo and Chelsea Neville, all here to have some fun and put up some strong scores.
The Target Nationals will see archers score 144 arrows over the next two days, and then the U.S. Open features head to head elimination matches on Saturday. The senior gold medal matches will be live streamed by Competition Archery Media on CAM and USA Archery’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Check out our online photo gallery and join the conversation this week with #OutdoorNationals and follow live results at www.betweenends.com.< Back to All News